Health and Safety
WaterMaarq is committed to the safety of our guests, tour guides, skippers, and the people in our local communities around Port Phillip Bay and on the Mornington Peninsula. In today’s uncertain health environment we are even more dedicated to crafting innovative, sustainable, responsible, and safe adventures that allow you to discover your true nature. With our focus on nature and ecotourism, our small-group expertly-guided tours are well suited to safe and healthy travel.
Since our very first tour, we have specialised in taking guests into nature’s most beautiful wilds, right here on Melbourne’s doorstep. This has been made possible by our dedication to high standards of excellence, years of diverse tour experience and the expertise of our team who work closely with local and international authorities to acquire the regulatory approvals allow us to share these wonders with you.
WaterMaarq is pleased to share that we are endorsed as a recognised COVID Clean Practicing Business under the Australian Tourism Industry Council Quality Tourism Australia program. This provides guests with additional assurance that we have adopted global health and hygiene standards designed to keep your travels as safe as possible.
This endorsement is recognised by the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Stamp, which is the standard regulatory bodies and guests expect for tour operators worldwide.
WaterMaarq is committed to the ensuring you may book with confidence and has in place specific refund policies for unforeseen Victorian State Government decreed lockdowns.
Our online booking system provides real-time and live 24/7 availability. Scheduled tours will not appear available for booking during gazetted lockdown periods. Availability will be managed and updated in line with existing health regulations and generally be open unless a lockdown period is in force.
Lockdown related bookings and refunds
In the event your tour cannot proceed on the scheduled day due to an unforeseen and unplanned lockdown announced by the Victorian Government, you will be entitled to a full refund for all bookings made directly on the WaterMaarq website, or the opportunity to reschedule to your next preferred booking date if availability is current. For bookings made through third party providers, requests for cancellation and refund will be activated upon your request and processed by the original provider.
WaterMaarq will contact you in the first instance by email in regards to your booking if a lockdown period is announced. This email will provide instructions for the options available to you and you are invited to respond at your earliest opportunity for your preferred option.
Our Safety Charter
The COVID Clean Practicing Business system implemented at WaterMaarq uses COVID19 cleaning procedures to support daily business requirements for safe operation of tours in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and maintain health and safety for guests and crew.
The safety charter includes practices and protocols in line with the following:
- Tours will not run during defined coronavirus lockdown periods (Latest Announcements Here)
- Travel in small groups to limit exposure and support social distancing measures
- Guests self-declaration they are COVID-19-free before departure
- Enhanced regular cleaning of the vessel seating and shared areas
- Check-in processes according to current Victorian State Government regulations
Support is available for each tour and throughout the operational season.
Enhanced cleanliness and hygiene safety measures will be introduced in all transport and our local crew members will attend to each in advance of travel.
On the vessel
- We use purpose built RIB charter boats catering to pre-booked guests or on private tours restricted to your group members only. Your guides will encourage all guests to use the same seat during the entire tour
- Vessels are thoroughly cleaned before departure, and daily at the completion of tours. Hand sanitisers are readily available onboard always.
On our guided tours, you’ll be seated in smaller sub-groups where ever possible to maintain social distancing principles (maximum of 12 guests for sightseeing journeys, 10 x swimmers for dolphin and seal swim tours). Every guest will declare prior to travel to state they are free of COVID-19 symptoms.
- For now, our hosts, guides and crew won’t shake hands on arrival or for general greetings or departures but will offer support on an activity, like boarding the vessel, where the benefit is deemed to outweigh the risk
- Your host and guide will ask you to report any COVID-19 symptoms immediately, so that appropriate action can be taken to safeguard tour guests, guides and crew members
- Your host and guide will carry personal protection equipment, for example, face masks, hand sanitiser, and surface cleaning materials when and where necessary
- In the unlikely event that a guest needs to self-isolate on board, our crew will offer support throughout. In the unlikely event that a guide or crew member contracts COVID-19, they will be replaced immediately
We are working to ensure that comprehensive COVID-19 measures are in place. We will only operate tours where we are comfortable the appropriate measures are in place for our own and industry best-practice standards. 100% of the people on any WaterMaarq tour (guests, guides and crew) will be checked when both boarding and disembarking. Filtering and decontamination procedures will be added to onboard health and safety protocols as well as strict barrier and social distancing measures implemented where practicable on every tour.
The small size of our vessel is unique in the local Mornington Peninsula seal and dolphin swim and sightseeing industry and makes it possible to deploy all protocols effectively and efficiently. WaterMaarq is renowned for its dedication to the safety of guests, guides, and crew members. While our award-winning tours new health and safety charters and procedures may vary slightly, the wellbeing of people always comes first.
We constantly monitor the best ways to provide incredible tours and keep our guests safe and healthy. Based on this we will revise our Travel Safety protocols on an on-going basis, reflecting any changes on this page.